Agenda and minutes
Venue: Committee Room 1 - Wallasey Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Patrick Sebastian / Shirley Hudspeth
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor J Walsh.
Members' Code of Conduct - Declarations of Interest / Party Whip
Members are asked to consider whether they have any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or any other relevant interest in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.
Members are reminded that they should also declare whether they are subject to a party whip in connection with any item(s) to be considered and, if so, to declare it and state the nature of the whipping arrangement.
Members were asked to consider whether they had any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or any other relevant interest in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.
Members were reminded that they should also declare whether they were subject to a party whip in connection with any item(s) to be considered and, if so, to declare it and state the nature of the whipping arrangement.
The following declarations were made:
Councillor Mike Sullivan declared a personal interest in the Cabinet Minute 113 which was the subject of the meeting by virtue of his role as a voluntary helper at Pensby Library and his attendance at Library Forum meetings.
Councillor Ian Lewis declared a personal interest in the Cabinet Minute 113 which was the subject of the meeting by virtue of his being a Friend of Wallasey Library and a Friend of Harrison Park, Wallasey.
Councillor Christina Musprattdeclared a personal interest in the Cabinet Minute 113 which was the subject of the meeting by virtue of her being member of a community group – the Friends of Manor Park.
Councillor Steve Foulkes declared a personal interest in the item under consideration by virtue of his representation as a member on Magenta Housing.
No declarations in respect of any whipping arrangement were made.
Prior to consideration of the item the Chair welcomed members of the public, Elected Members and Officers, thanking them for their attendance.
The Chair then referred to the decision of the Cabinet taken on 27 March 2017 in respect of Leisure and Cultural Services – future provision of services (Minute 113 refers).
The decision had been called-in by Councillors Jeff Green, Tom Anderson, Bruce Berry, Chris Blakeley, Eddie Boult, David Burgess-Joyce, Wendy Clements, David Elderton, Gerry Ellis, John Hale, Paul Hayes, Andrew Hodson, Kathy Hodson, Ian Lewis, Tracey Pilgrim, Cherry Povall, Lesley Rennie, Les Rowlands, Adam Sykes, Geoffrey Watt and Steve Williams, on the following grounds:
“The signatories wish to call-in the following recommendations from the decision:
(1) the findings of the ‘Re-imagining Leisure and Cultural Services’ report, and the services this relates to, prepared by Bates, Wells & Braithwaite (BWB) (Appendix 1 of the report) be noted; and
(2) the Strategic Commissioner for Environment be requested to ensure these findings are given due consideration as part of the options appraisal and development of the Full Business Case for the future provision of specified services, to be reported to a future meeting of Cabinet in June 2017.”
Reasons for Call-in:
There has been inadequate consultation with key stakeholders by the London based consultants, Bates, Wells, Brathwaite (BWB) in the preparation of their report “Wirral BC – Re-imagining Leisure and Cultural Services.”
Numerous Friends Groups, volunteer organisations, Trade Unions, Parks Friends Forum and Friends of the Libraries have all expressed significant concerns over the contents and accuracy of this report not least because the key stakeholders, who know our Leisure and Cultural Assets best, have not been involved or consulted over the production of this report.
We believe it is expensive folly to have spent £284,000 of Taxpayers money on a report without recourse to such important stakeholders as their knowledge and experience is vital in bringing out key issues in developing future options for our Leisure and Cultural Assets.
By disenfranchising these key stakeholders at this stage of the process the Council risks missing out on significant benefits and therefore this process should be paused to allow a period of consultation and engagement, which is missing from the BWB report, prior to moving to options appraisal and development of the full business case.
Explanation of Call-in by the Lead Signatory – Councillor Jeff Green
Councillor Green referred to the previous independent consultation, undertaken during 2016 on the matter of libraries, leisure and culture services, which had not been made available to the public or Elected Members. He stated that the report had been completed in January 2017 and was dismayed that the content hadn’t been circulated.
Councillor Green’s idea of consultation was to involve and engage in the whole process. This had not occurred in this case.
He explained that it was the view of his Group that the decision based on the report had included the translation of an Outline Business Case into a Full Business Case, ... view the full minutes text for item 3.